upport the senate health care reform bill. because we can improve medicare without making seniors pay more. tonight on "nightline" -- how to live to 100. we reveal the four secrets to living longer and more fulfilling lives and we visit one ordinary american city that's taken on a life-changing value. the secrets of success. make more friends, lose more weight. chase your dreams. working for these people. can they work for you? plus, the life of the party. two parties, tax cuts and a whole lot of anger. we go inside the new republican revolution, but is it working? and what does it mean for president obama? george stephanopoulos joins us.
>> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, martin bashir and cynthia mcfadden in new york city. this is "nightline," november 2nd, 2009. good evenings are i'm terry moran. and we're going to begin tonight with the human quest for longevity and an american city testing four secrets to a longer life. it was chosen for a so-called vitality project funded by the united health foundation because it's pretty unremarkable really. because it didn't take too long before the people of albert lea, minnesota started achieving pretty remarkable results, for themselves, for their families and for the entire community. john donvan has the report. >> reporter: do you want to live a long, long time? wells are this man right here, dan buettner has traveled the world looking for the secrets to living a longer and healthier life.
along the way, he met guitar-playing raphael leone in costa rica, he is 100 years old. ♪ >> reporter: ushi in okinawa who is 134. and has a brother 30 years her junior. and at 103 three, still, a formidable arm wrestler. >> oh! buettner studied these centenari centenarians, folks that are 100 years or older in places he calls blue zones. >> when you look at blue zones, these supply centenarians never belonged to a gym, never had a particular diet. >> reporter: buettner came away with four secrets that not only helped them survive but thrive at the century mark. >> it's one thing to see
longevity play out in the island in southeastern asia, but you can make it work with the american population? >> reporter: to find out if it can help the average american, he brought them hire to albert lea, minnesota. because it is ordinary. >> we fit the national profile. we have a little less heart disease, less diabetes and we have the life expectancy of 78 years. >> reporter: he said, i can give you longer life, did you feel the reaction to that? >> yeah, they gave me a standing ovation and i hadn't done anything yet. >> reporter: dan and his team set up a ten-month program called the aarp blue zones vitality project. mirroring the secrets to longevity that he saw around the world. what is secret number e in this program of longevity? improve your environment so that activity is the easiest option. >> there's very good research that if you optimize the
physical environment of the city, activity will go up by as much as 40%. so we convinced albert lea to connect their sidewalks. >> reporter: we first visited albert lea in july and we found new sidewalks are showing up. and look at these kids, they are ditching rides to school in favor of blue zones inspired walking school zones. which brings to us secret two, eat mostly plants and eat less. >> not only a lifestyle change. i'm heavy, you know, overheat. >> reporter: scott schmeltser is publisher of the albert lea tribune. >> the next thing you know, you look in the mirror and you go, where did that other guy go, you know?
now, there's two of them. you're looking at the jonas brothers and you're just one person, you know. >> reporter: and one of albert lea's largest employers manufacturing company. >> doughnut wednesday has been a tradition around here for a very long time. now, half of it is fruit. and the fruit is the first to go. and i was shocked by that. >> we had a goal of 30 restaurants. >> reporter: cathy, one of the managers at the truck stop helped other restaurants to start overing smaller portions. >> kathy helped the other restaurants in albert lea to make changes to the way they serve their food. >> my name is morra i've been in albert lea for seven years now. >> reporter: she says that making friends here has been very difficult. >> sometimes, i felt so lonely.
>> reporter: that brings us to secret number three, socialize and volunteer with friends and family who have a positive influence on you. >> she's our spiritual captain. >> reporter: moraa joined what is called a morai based on a group that exists in okinawa. >> in okinawa, they have a notion of a social network they call morai, children are clustered in groups of five or six and they travel together. >> people in the morai, i've come to make good friends with them. >> here's an example. somebody who is lonely. we know loneliness kills who via these ideas moved. >> how do you see that? >> the idea that she has a friend showing up every morning or every other morning, gets her out of the house and walking. >> reporter: the purdys had a
walking morai of their own. and the fourth and final secret, figure out what your purpose is in life so you have an inspiring reason to get up every morning. >> we know that people who have a strong sense of purpose live about seven years longer than people who don't? >> what kind of whole-grain spaghetti? >> reporter: while signing up for the project, kathy and her husband brian had a epiphany. >> life happened and we weren't able to finish college. three weeks ago, we started. >> reporter: does this surprise you? >> it's immensely satisfying, too. because these are positive changes to real people's lives inspired by the ideas that work elsewhere around the world. >> reporter: bit by bit, buettner saw this little city beginning to take on a new shape. >> collectively, they put in
over 2,500 hours of service volunteering. while in so doing, in taking the 75 million steps they took, they also create friendships that will outlast our time here in albert lea. >> reporter: we rerned to albert lea two months later toward the end of the program to check on everyone. scott has seen some progress. >> i've lost 32 pounds. when you're a super big guy like me, you know, it's funny, you lose 32 pounds and people go, did you get a haircut? you know, you can't tell that much but i can tell on my clothes. >> reporter: he took the online vitality test and he says he has added 6 1/2 years to his life. kathy was thrilled to show us the new menu at trails restaurant. >> we actually never offered fruit before when blue zones came to town, that's what we're offering. there are several other options
that we're offering in half-size portions. >> i have friends that i relate to. and so, it's kind of nice. >> reporter: he thinks this might just be the best answer yet to the whole health care crisis. what's the verdict? >> well, the city manager will tell you that health care costs, for city workers, has dropped by 49%. >> reporter: in how many months? >> ten moss. >> reporter: that's os stounding. >> that is astounding. impaired to other city. we know that life expectancies in about 1,000 has gone up three years. >> reporter: but just how realistic is the promise of a longer life to the people of albert lea and to all of us? are you promising the people of the city too much? >> i'm telling them they'll be
healthier to optimizing how you eat and socialize. that stacks it in favor of more good life. >> thanks to john donvan for that. when we come back, we'll take an inside look at the republican playbook to see how the new face of the grand old party is shaking up. welcome to the now network, population 49 million. right now 1.2 million people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on a vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com
like my life is .split in two. there's the ife i live. and the life i want to live. fortunately, there's enbrel. enbrel can help relieve .pain, stiffness, fatigue, and stop joint damage. because enbrel suppresses .your immune system, it may lower your ability .to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, .events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma and nervous system and blood disorders " have occurred. before starting enbrel, yor doctor should test you for tuberculosis. also ask your doctor if .you live in an area with a greater risk for certain fungal infections. don't start enbrel if you have an infection, like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated or heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding or paleness. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you, and help bridge the gap between the life you live and the life you want to live.
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it's election eve tonight and what a difference a year makes from the democratic sweep last year to a newly energized conservative movement that is royaling the republican party from new york to florida to alaska. it was born this movement in the populist rage in the wall street bailout last year and the forces say how much of a force it is to be reckoned with in the gop andy
beyond. for the political establishment, it came completely out of left field. in this case, right field. >> it's cleared that campaign is lacking. we've had a struggle with finances. and it was time today i think to do the right thing. >> reporter: in a matter of weeks, about obscure congressional race in upstate new york has suddenly become the episode of what some are calling a civil war over the soul of the republican party and what it should stand for in the obama era. but for the conservative grassroots organization freedomworks, the upheaval isn't a surprise all. rather, the pinnacle of months of work, forming a movement to shape the future of gop. >> our fellow citizens haven't had enough? >> reporter: what started with tea parties in the spring. steamrolled into angry town halls over the summer. >> your treatment!
>> reporter: and peaked with a massive rally in the nation's captain in september. but was it the beginning of a mass movement or a culmination of rage on the right? >> we are the majority and we are going to take america back. >> reporter: we went to south florida to see at the ground level what this grassroots movement is really like and check out critics' contention that it's not a real grassroots uprising at all but a corporate front. an astroturf movement, they call it. >> yeah. >> reporter: on the patio of the yard house restaurant in palm beach gardens about 100 or more locals gathered to denounce health care reform. the wall street bailout, economic stimulus, taxes and as we heard a lot more. >> i'm a fiscal conservative constitutionalist. we've got to get back to the constitution.
>> reporter: do you think president obama believes in freedom? >> i think he's into power, i think the groups he's happening around with believe they will take over. >> evolution has no credibility on a scientific agenda. evolution is that we teach our kids that they're animals, and they act like animals. everybody wonders why. >> reporter: it's a movement in search of a leader, but maybe not for long. >> how many of you think 6 yourself as pretty much a run-of-the-mill common garden variety american citizen? >> reporter: that's dick armey, he's a guy a lot of these floridians came to hear today. you probably remember him as one of the top republicans in congress. 1995 to 2003. today, army is the chairman of freedomworks. they claim to have 400,000 members.
and they are an organization with the power to purge moderates and deem what they believe is pure conservatives. >> it's the greatest of grat roots of concern. >> reporter: we sat down with r armey. it's a well funded group but that's not something that he wants to talk about. could you tell hughes the corporate donors are are to freedom works so we can get a sense of who's bank rolling it? >> we never discuss our contributors? >> reporter: why not? >> we have to protect them in harassment. and you have a right to be private. >> reporter: okay, armey clearly did not want to talk about who's paying his salary which is $550,000 this year. like so many of the tea party
protesters he did want to talk about health care as he always does. >> we got the bad guys on the run. >> reporter: to dick armey, it's simple a little grab for government power, a form of leftist tyranny. >> big shots in washington want to be in control. they want the government to run health care. there's no denying that. it was an intrusion against my liberty as given to me and guaranteed by my constitution, a sacred document. >> reporter: but when dick armey was in congress for 18 years he got health care through a government program. the federal employees health benefit plan subsidized by taxpayers. and before that, he was on the state payroll in texas teaching at a state university. people say, mr. armey, got government health care. you got taxpayers subsidizing your health care for 31 years they'd say now you're a hypocrite. >> and i'd say, you're being
silly. i got employer-provided insurance like most of the people in america. >> reporter: your employer was the government? >> my employer was the house of representatives. my employer was the texas state university. but that is not the reason why i should be opposed to you're having your insurance imposed on you by the federal government. >> we must take our country back! >> reporter: some critics of the movement note that the vast majority of people at the rallies are white people. and they point to a few hateful signs that have dotted the crowds. former president jimmy carter said it was all being fueled by racism. >> an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward president barack obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. >> jimmy carter's all right.
all wet. poor fellow, i feel bad for him. he's flat all wet. >> reporter: do you have any concerns when you look at the crowds and they're mostly overwhelmingly all white people? >> of course, it concerns me. there is no more natural constituency than small government conservatism and restraint of the big government in my estimation than hispanic americans and black americans. the republican party has not done a good job of speaking to these two constituencies groups. >> reporter: in the evening, another gathering, a few dozen die-hards in coral gables, far fewer than what freedom works predicted. dick armey shows up, does the spiel and heads on. and looking for a reenergized conservative base will be a big part of the vote tomorrow. when we come back, so what
do tomorrow's elections mean for republicans and for president obama? george stephanopoulos is here to break it down. and he likes to drink a lot f coffee. for a whiter smile and a fresh breath feeling that... [ inhales deeply ] lasts up to five times longer [ inhales deeply ] ok she's right. ok. oooh, "she's right." my breath still feels fresh. [ female announcer ] new crest extra white plus scope outlast. bank of america lends nearly 3 billion dollars to individuals, institutions, schools, organizations and businesses in every corner of the economy. america. growing stronger.
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voters across the country will led to the polls tomorrow, and while this year may lack the high-profile race of the thrills and spills of last year's presidential cycle it is not white house national implications. our chief correspondent george stephanopoulos joins us. george, take us through, look through the races out there. one here, one there. do they amount to the political referendum of how president obama is doing. >> you can bet. in virginia and new jersey and that congressional race in upstate new york, you can bet on either side that are people saying this is a referendum, particularly, if the democrats lose all three of the race. history shows this isn't necessarily saying much about the future of politics.
about in 2001, democrats coming off the george bush's election won the races in new jersey and virginia. but it didn't stop president bush from getting reelected. but it's going to be a lot easier for the white house to make that case, if somehow democrats can pull that out. they want jon corzine to hang on. >> a very hard-fought battle there. what the results of these races tell us, if anything, about the republican party roiling in the gop right now? >> republicans are most excited about the race in new jersey. they said their candidate bob mcdonnell shows how republicans can win by focusing on issues of job and the economy. and a lot are focusing on that congressional race in upstate new york where the republican candidate was forced out of the race by a conservative. you have a group of republicans
led by newt gingrich saying if the party doesn't reach out, there's no way they're going to get in control of the congress and get back the white house. but right now, at least, all of the energy, all of the foot soldiers, all of the enthusiasm is on the side of the true conservatives. they're claiming a victory in that race up in new york. they're putting a lot of hopes into the senate challenger down in florida. martha rubio is take on the moderate republican governor in the senate primary. i think they have a good chance of winning there as well. >> first battle for control of the republican party. george, thanks for that. we'll look forward to tomorrow too. we'll be right back. first, jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next on "jimmy kimmel live." >> jimmy: on the show tonight, two fresh losers from "dancing with the stars." and the coffee shop an boss: ah! thank goodness you're back.
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